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February 2012 - E-Magazines Are Here to Stay


Throughout history, the concept of "books" and "magazines" remained consistent. They were portable, contained valuable information to be shared with the public, and captured events in a few hundred pages of printed font that was experienced through the imagination of the readers. The concept of books and magazines still remains the same; however, the digital revolution is proving to change the way books and magazines are read, stored, and shared among the public.

Magazines, specifically, are undergoing tremendous changes as the digital age revolutionizes the periodical industry. With rising paper costs and environmental degradation as concerns, readers are finding it easy to convert their magazine subscriptions to an electronic format.

Currently, 71% of e-reader owners have expressed eagerness in reading magazines in electronic format. The benefits of replacing physical magazines with a digital format seem to outweigh the cons. Not only will the e-version allow readers to interact with articles and find out more information regarding the topic of an article, but the applications in which the magazines were purchased will offer readers with suggestions for other magazines they may enjoy - another window of opportunity for magazine companies.

Previously, magazine issues that did not sell before the new issue arrives on newsstands were simply disposed of. Interestingly enough, e-reader users are given the opportunity to purchase back issues for a discounted price. Readers are finding it convenient to purchase these discounted magazines that still offer a wealth of information. Magazine companies such as Hearst Magazines (publishers of Cosmopolitan and Popular Mechanics) are noticing a slight increase in revenues due to the new technology being utilized. Though not a tremendous increase in sales, any additional revenues are helping struggling magazines survive in difficult economic times.

Lucia Moses, a staff writer for AdWeek, recently revealed that consumers are finding it increasingly useful to archive their digital subscriptions and look back to previously published articles for information. In fact, Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food each stated their appreciation for the new technology due to the fact that one fourth of the digital copies of the publication sold on the iPad are back issues.

Despite the difficulty associated with the digitally revolutionized book publishing industry, there is no doubt that e-readers are proving to deliver value to consumers. Magazines and catalogs have historically contributed to environmental degradation due to their quick read (and almost immediate disposal). Digital magazines not only minimize the waste contributed, but also enhance the readers experience with the magazine.

Overall, magazine companies are finding it beneficial to convert their services to digital formats. As the costs associated with print continue to increase, a digital magazine becomes a practical product to offer readers. By archiving back issues, consumers are not only reducing their carbon footprint, but also have the ability to reread older articles that may offer a wealth of information.


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